tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC September 30, 2013 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
and the morning show here at 8:00, msnbc at noon and topping off the night with lawrence o'donnell's great show "last word." i'll also be speaking up here in new york tomorrow night at cooper union, where abraham lincoln once spoke. i can't think of a better time to be coming out with a book and a story about when politics actually worked at a time when we need hope, we need trust, and we really do in this form of government we have, not only to survive, but actually, thank god to prevail. that's horrib"hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. and tonight we begin with chaos in the house of representatives. moderate republicans are fighting with tea party conservatives with the federal government set to shut down in just four hours. as we await yet another vote in the house, one whose expected passage will essentially guarantee a shutdown. it is important to know just how
exactly did it come to this. >> do you believe you know the way to get things done for the american people so that we don't have another shutdown of the government? >> there is a very simple way of doing this, which is, the senate passed a budget and the house passed a budget. maybe you're not old enough to remember "schoolhouse rock" ♪ i'm just a bill, yes, i'm only a bill ♪ ♪ and i'm sitting here on capitol hill ♪ >> reporter: in the not-so-distant past it worked like this -- the president presents a budget, the house passes its budget, the senate passes its budget, they get together in a compromise committee and hammer out a compromise. ♪ well, now i'm stuck in committee and i'll sit here and wait ♪ ♪ while a few key congressmen discuss and debate ♪ >> reporter: but in 2011, the newly emboldened tea party-infused republican majority in the house of representatives held the debt ceiling hostage as leverage for
implementing austerity. >> on our broadcast tonight, deal or default? what's it going to be? >> reporter: the normal budgetary process was abandoned and replaced by the budget control act of 2011, spawning the budget committee and its impasse, which spawned sequestration and a series of temporary measures passed to keep the government funded. all of these gimmicky, jerry-rigged mechanisms fed off and contributed to an atmosphere of perpetual crisis. but after winning re-election and largely holding sway over the fiscal cliff showdown, the president held out hope that we could stop the insanity. >> so, let's set party interests aside and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. and let's do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. the greatest nation on earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next! >> reporter: and getting back to
how the normal process was broken, for a whole year, house republicans complained the senate wouldn't pass a budget. finally, the senate passed a budget, but speaker john boehner wouldn't appoint conferees. >> for two years, my colleagues have complained that the senate didn't pass a budget resolution, even though we had a budget by force of law and signed by president obama, but still, the house refused to go to conference with us. since they got what they claimed they wanted, order has not yet waned. it's just disappeared. >> reporter: and tea party leaders like senator ted cruz led the strategy to kneecap that normal budgetary process. >> let me be clear, i don't trust the republicans, and i don't trust the democrats. and i think a whole lot of americans likewise don't trust the republicans and the democrats because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess. >> reporter: and so, the tea party die-hards, about one-fifth of the house, hamstrings
one-half of congress, which is, of course, one-third of our three branches of government. 1/30 of the power in washington is controlling the rest of us. and now we're in yet another crisis because of them. >> the house of representatives listened to the american people, and i am hopeful, i am confident that the house will continue to stand its ground. >> i am going to be joined live by two congressmen to debate that in just a few minutes. but joining me now is robert costa, washington, d.c., editor for "the conservative national review" and cnbc contributor. robert, we just had a floor on the vote about 45 minutes ago. we're going to get another one. in that floor vote, there was a lot of talk about revolt from the moderate wing of the republican caucus. what happened? >> peter king of new york, a veteran moderate of the house, had tried to work the floor to rally 20 to 30 centrist republicans against the rule to proceed on debate on john boehner's latest continuing resolution to fund the government. that failed. leadership worked the floor,
peter king's stopped, so now any moderate vote is mifled. >> there was even a talk about as many as 20 to 25 members who were aligned with king voting against it, which would have killed this resolution that's being passed. now that it's passed, do we expect they're just going to pass the bill in the next few minutes or so and send that over to the senate? >> that's right. what you should expect in the next hour is the house republicans bill to delay the individual mandate in obama care for a year to pass quite easily. that's going to head over to the senate, but that could be the final volley of the night from house republicans. it seems very much right now like we're headed towards shutdown. >> so, it's a one-year delay on the implementation of the mandate. also, i understand the vitter amendment, which essentially removed the government employer contribution to the health insurance payments of all of congress's staff. that's also in there, right? >> that's exactly right. what house republicans are trying to do right now is message the shutdown. the shutdown seems to be
happening, so they're trying to put a bill to harry reid's lap to make him shoulder the blame if the shutdown happens and they could blame him for shutting down the government to protect subsidies for government staffers. that's their argument right now and what they'll run on in the final hour. >> so the rhetorical positioning of the vitter amendment is so they have some peg they can hang the blame for this on harry reid in the senate? >> well, that's -- the problem for house republicans is this, a lot of the older members, those were weren't elected in 2010 and 2012, they went through the '90s. they know a shutdown causes political fame. so there is a generational divide within the house republican congress, between those who know a shutdown doesn't always work politically and those who say hey, let's try it, see what happens. >> robert costa from "the national review," whose reporting on all of this will be indispensable and will be joining me later this evening live at 11:00, as we continue to follow this. thank you very much, robert. we me now, congressman nick
mulvaney, republican from south carolina, and congressman hakeem jefferies, democrat from new york and with the house budget committee. congressman mulvaney, from byron york of "the washington examiner," quoting from his article "there are 233 republicans in the house. insiders estimate that three-quarters of them or about 175 gop lawmakers are willing and perhaps even eager to vote for a continuing resolution that funds the government without pressing the republican goal of defunding or delaying obama care." it's sort of a shocking bit of reporting there indicating that a very small minority of one party in one-half of one branch of congress is calling the shots here. >> chris, it's news to me. i have not read that piece that you've mentioned. and having sat through probably more republican conference meetings in the last four or five days than for the last several months, i just don't see that in our room when we go in. today we went in, actually kicked staff out, which is very rare for us, so we could have a very private conversation about what was happening. and the support for what we did
two weeks ago was very high. i think we got all republicans but one. there was support for what we did just two days ago was high. we got overwhelming majorities of our own party, only lost a couple folks. and again, today the support for what we're bringing up tonight is still strong. mr. king of new york has difficulties with it, as does mr. dent of pennsylvania, but overall, the support is very strong, so that's not jifg with what you're saying. >> there's been an assertion throughout the day, backed in a lot of reporting, that if the speaker were to bring a clean cr to the floor right now in the house of representatives that matched what the senate has passed, that would pass with the majority of members of the united states house of representatives. are you saying that's not true? >> i'm just saying i've not seen any evidence of it. i have no information, where mr. york is getting that. i have not seen that. that's not been the tenor of our conversations in those meetings, that's not been the message in our meetings. our message has been fairly consistent, which is we will try to chip away at obama care as part of the continuing resolution debates and that's
the plan for this evening. >> congressman jefferies, what's your response to the seemingly united front the republicans are now presenting when it looked like a complete kind of balkanized mess a few hours ago? where do you see this headed? >> well, holding the government hostage to an extreme ideological agenda is very problematic, particularly as it relates to the attempt to repeal or defund or delay the affordable care act. as speaker boehner indicated earlier this year, the affordable care act is the law of the land, passed by the congress in 2009. the supreme court sdlard it constitutional in 2012. the american people re-elected president obama last november. this should be a settled matter. we're a few hours away from a government shutdown that will cause significant pain for the american people. it will cause pain for working families, for the military, for civil service employees, for children, for senior citizens, those that rely on meals on wheels, and the responsibility will lie squarely with the house republican majority, which has
steadfastly held to this position that it's their way or the highway, and that quite unfortunate. >> congressman mulvaney, one of the things that have been attached to this continuing resolution' side from delaying the mandate for a year, is the so-called vitter amendment, which would take away essentially the employer contribution to health care, an employer contribution that people in all sorts of large employers receive as part of their compensation. it would take away employer compensation for staff members, for members of congress and their staffs. are you prepared to go into your office and look secretaries and clerical workers and other staff members making $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 a year and tell them they're going to have a several thousand dollar pay cut? >> absolutely, because as my staff told me, what we're fighting back against tonight is the opm decision that the obama administration handed down a couple weeks ago. in fact, i think it was finalized today, that said we get this subsidy. that's not what the law says. the law says we don't get it. the president doesn't have the right to change that unilaterally. >> the subsidy when you say
subsidy, that's an incredibly misleading term. the subsidy and the exchange ears for everyone else who are in the exchanges because their employers don't provide health insurance. remember, chuck grassley passed this specifically to make people have to use the exchanges even though they already have employer-provided health insurance. we're not talking about tax credits or a subsidy. we are talking about compensation for your staff members who make a good deal less than you. >> use whatever word you want, it's illegal. the president cannot do this. the law as passed, we just heard congressman jefferies correctly say it's the law of the land. the law of the land says we don't get this type of assistance from our employer. like it or hate it, i can't argue that, but it is the law and the president does not have the right to change that unilaterally. >> congressman jefferies what do you think about your colleagues voting to cut, to essentially give a pay cut of significant pay cut to everyone who works in that building for, i can't figure out the reason? >> well, i have no doubt and sincerity in the good faith of congressman mulvaney, however, i
do think that overall, this collective strategy related to the legislation that's now before us is a political gimmick, and it's not going to work. harry reid has clearly indicated that it's dead on arrival if it gets to the senate. the president won't sign it into law, and it's a further delay tactic that has us spilg dorali down the road to a government shutdown. i think a clean cr is best for the american people and i hope at the end of the day, reasonableness will prevail, we can find common ground, get behind and beyond this government shutdown crisis and then we can sit down at the negotiating table and try to find common ground to do what's right for the economy and american people moving forward. >> congressman mulvaney, shouldn't the best way to have a negotiated settlement to the budget be to go through the normal budget process and have john boehner appoint conferees to a conference committee so they can work out their differences through the process that is designed to do precisely that? >> i heard your introduction talk about that, and certainly,
i think everybody can agree that sometimes going through regular order is better, but it's wrong to say that that's only a recent change. in 2009 and 2010, actually, the gentleman i beat was the budget chairman who didn't even offer a budget that year. so to say regular order has broken down since republicans have been in the house is not right. but let's talk about common ground. as you and i talked about on this show ten days ago, we sent over a plan to defund obama care. they sent back a cr we sent them a delay and they'll send back a cr. where is the common ground? where is the senate working to keep the government open? >> i'll tell you. the funding levels, the cr that came from the senate and the funding levels in the one that democrats in the house are ready to vote for is a funding levels that keep sequestration funding in tact. that is not anything the democratic caucus wants. and congressman jefferies, feel free to weigh in here. >> but chris, that's the law of the land.
>> that is mass concession. >> it's not concession, that's the law! >> so is obama care! >> so, they're pushing back on the budget control act because they don't like it and we're pushing back on obama care because we don't like it. that's how the system is supposed to work. >> congressman jefferies, aren't you pushing back on sequestration? >> we absolutely are pushing back on sequestration. it's a very painful thing for the american people. and the democrats in both the house and the senate are compromising as it relates to sending the funding level at $986 billion, which is very different than what would otherwise be the case had sequestration not come into effect, so we're already in a place of compromise. >> congressman mulvaney and congressman jefferies, i appreciate your time tonight. thank you very much. >> thanks, chris. >> thank you. all right, coming up -- >> the thought that the statue of liberty could be held hostage is appalling to me. >> if the government shuts down in a few hours, there will be a lot more dire consequences than the statue of liberty not being open to visitors. we'll talk about them. ♪ 'take me home...'
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right there, america, that's shutdown cam. you clamored for it and we're bringing it to you. then right after the show at 9:00 p.m., i'll be taking over the "all in" facebook page. if you've got a question for me, head to facebook.com/allinwithchris and ask away. and then make sure to like us. it is only fair. hard it can be to breathe and man, you know how that feels. copd includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. spiriva is a once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that helps open my obstructed airways for a full 24 hours. you know, spiriva helps me breathe easier. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine.
other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. does breathing with copd weigh you down? don't wait to ask your doctor about spiriva. we are entering crunch time as the shutdown barrels towards us. there's going to be a vote in the house momentarily. we will continue to monitor that. we will have our trustee shutdown cam up in a second. right now, as we head towards a shutdown, there is a huge amount of confusion out there about what comes after that. who will get paid and who won't?
what services will be affected and what won't? so, earlier today on our facebook page, we asked you to send us your questions about what happens on the day after a government shutdown. we've got "all in's" reporter susie kim, who along with our reporter ned residen ee eer ned doing great reporting to answer them. susie, i thought this got at heart of what everyone is wondering. barbara ann ratel says what will happen to social security checks, food stamps and w.i.c., meals on wheels, dvr? not sure which are state, which are federal and how the shutdown will affect states, if at all. how can you break this down for us? >> so, i think part of the reason there's so much confusion about what does and doesn't get affected by the shutdown is because we haven't really had a conversation about funding these programs. but just one sort of clear distinction that might help folks. basically, shutdown, spending that's classified as mandatory spending -- that would include food stamps, that would include
medica medicare, that would include social security -- won't be affected. so, folks who get those benefits wouldn't expect to see them taken away. >> that's also -- >> however -- >> let me just add to that because we have a graphic. social security, unemployment benefits, food stamps, those are all in the not affected category of the line. >> yes. those are all in the not affected category. however, there are some service disruptions that you might expect even for those benefits. and you might take a longer amount of time to get social security, for instance, to get your unemployment check to apply for unemployment if you haven't received it already. as for things like meals on wheels, head start, those kinds of programs will be affected, but it depends on how long the shutdown actually lasts. in other words, if it's just a couple of days, there might be enough funding for folks to not really see any changes, but if it keeps going on for a number of days, even weeks, folks would really start to see the programs impacted. >> wic is for women with infant
children, it's a food supplement, somewhat like food stamps. that is going to be affected. >> yes. >> the way it's affected is unclear because it's a federal-state partnership, but there will be some effects on that? >> yes, there is expected to be a disruption. basically, they're sayi ining t have enough funding to go maybe a week or so, but if it goes longer, supplemental assistance to women and families with children will be affected. >> i want to ask, i want to move to something else because there are people who come to washington, d.c., to survey the dysfunctional wreckage that is our current congress, and they want to know, benny says, hey chris, we're taking over 100 eighth graders and will be visiting d.c. for a class trip. how might this affect our trip in terms of museums, monuments, et cetera? thank you for your consideration. is it all going to be closed? are they going to be able to watch the wreckage up close and personal? >> well, they won't be able to go to the national mall. they won't be able to go to the monument. they won't be able to go to any
of the smithsonian museums. they could be able to go to a private museum, like the newseum or the spy museum or visit the national cathedral, but the attractions that bring tourists to washington, that bring folks, you know from all over the country here, will mostly be, people won't be able to get access to them. you expect to see a lot of folks disappointed when they arrive here. >> and this is an important one. stina hughes asks, i am waiting for a tax refund. will they still be processing those? >> the irs wants to have employees working for them. they say that there are certain forms of tax refunds that will be affected, but for the most part, people shouldn't expect those changes. but this is the thing, a lot -- these agencies have just started to put together their contingency plans to explain exactly what's going to happen, who's going to stay, who's going to go. and with 800,000 employees, at least, expected to be furloughed if there's a shutdown, you would
expect a lot of disruptions, you know, across the government that people rely on every day. >> and finally, the most important question, moses says why do members of congress still get paid? this is at contention. ted cruz is now saying he will donate his paycheck out of his generous spirit. why do members of congress still get paid? >> the reason they still get paid is because their salaries are automatically appropriated. in other words, congress doesn't have to approve its own salary every kbraer. >> hmm, handy. >> yeah. also, there is, you know, they have constitutional responsibilities and they would be considered, as much as folks at home might not like this, essential personnel to working in government. however, traditionally as happened during clinton era, congress almost immediately passes legislation that would suspend their salaries so it wouldn't look politically awful. >> no one, even this congress is not quite stupid enough to walk into that trap. msnbc.com reporter susie kim, thank you for all that. really appreciate it.
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there's a vote happening in the house right now which we will bring you, and "life & style weekly" big news to report today, besides the government shutdown, how the department of justice is going after north carolina for its brand-new voter restriction law. more on that story coming up. first, the three awesomest things on the internet. today we begin with the superfail by a neighborhood fast food restaurant. burger king is coming on strong with new french fries that are
less horrible for you, and there is the runaway popularity of taco bell's tacos. so mcdonald's is hoping these things, dubbed mighty wings, will give them an edge in the fast-food wars. they're rolling them out for football season with a massive publicity punch. the mcdonald's franchise in california lists the enthusiasm for its promotion. a viewer posted this photo of the giant chicken wings on display outside of the laverne mcdonald's. who knows? if history has taught us anything, there are people who will eat anything. it's no big deal! >> uh! >> the second awesomest thing on the internet today, the russians are coming! to hollywood. with russia co-opting much of the news cycle, it's no surprise you see a rush of russia-related high jinks on the site. the dog that looks like vladimir putin recently, and then the
russian website big picture directs our attention to russians who look like hollywood stars. there's leonardo dicaprioski, there's of course, bruce vilis, dr. haas. that one is scary. harrison ford, jik nicholson and mila djokovic. don't even need to change the name on that one. oh, and chuck norris, although to be fair, that's probably the actual chuck norris. and the third awesomest thing on the internet today, bad farewells are the best. more than 10 million people watched the finale of "breaking bad" last night. the ground-baking series cooked like a batch of blue meth. cast and crew were celebrating, meantime, hundreds of thousands of the faithful were saying good-bye to "breaking bad" on twitter. ann coulter tweeted "fantastic finale, better than anyone could
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nonshutdown news out of washington today. attorney general eric holder announced the justice department's plans to sue the city of north carolina over its new voting law, a law so broad and restrictive, one called it the most sweeping antivoter law in at least decades. the governor is challenging four parts of the law, including the state's decision to cut back early voting, the elimination of same-day registration during that period, restrictions on provisional ballots and the strict requirement of of a government photo i.d. student i.d.s, public employees i.d.s or i.d.s issued by public assistance agencies are not allowed. the supreme court struck down a key provision of the voting rights act in june, and that paved the way for states like north carolina to pass these kinds of restrictive voting laws, which disproportionately affect the poor and people of color. just last month, the justice department challenged texas on its voter i.d. law. today, republican governor pat mccrory, who signed the north carolina law in august, called the justice department's move political. >> i believe the federal
government action is an overreach and without merit. i believe that north carolina is in the mainstream on this issue, and it's the justice department that's working within the fringes. >> joining me now is julie fernandez, former deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division of the department of justice. she's now a senior policy analyst at the open society foundations. i want you to react to what governor mccrory said, that the law passed by north carolina, which many described as the most extreme voter restrictive laws they've ever seen, he said it was perfectly in the mainstream. is he right about that? >> look, chris, the question is whether or not the law passed in north carolina disproportiona disproportionately negatively impacts african-american voters. the question that the attorney general and the justice department are asking is whether or not these restrictions are ones that make it harder for black voters to vote. in the face of years of north carolina where we've seen since
the early 2000s an increase in african-american turnout and participation, now we have a law where the question's going to be asked, is this new law making it worse? >> can you set up the connecting of the dots between the voting rights act decision by the supreme court and north carolina being able to pass this law in the first place? because what we saw was the court strike down a part of the voting rights act, thaend a bunch of states, which if you look at a map, all seem to be in the south, passed a bunch of voter i.d. bills. >> right. so, prior to the supreme court's decision in shelby county, north carolina could have still passed the law, but there would have been a proceeding, likely in the department of justice, but maybe in the federal court, where the question would have been asked in a straightforward, administrative or expedited judicial proceeding about whether or not this law had an adverse impact on black voters. now, in a post-shelby world, we don't have that sort of efficient, straightforward way to evaluate the impact. we're going to have years of protracted litigation on the question.
and meanwhile, we'll have lots of voting changes all over north carolina, georgia, other parts of the country, that we won't even know about and the impact that those are having on african-american and latino voters. >> what do you mean by that, there will be changes we don't even know about? >> well, in the world of -- if the pre-shelby world, any time, if you were in a covered jurisdiction, any time you had a voting change, you had to let doj know, and then they would do a quick evaluation as to whether or not it may be problematic under the voting rights act. now people can make voting changes of all kinds and there's no requirement that there's notice, there's no requirement that there is any kind of scrutiny as to whether or not those changes are going to negatively impact african-american voters. and interestingly, chris, just to say, this law was held back by the north carolina legislature waiting to see if the supreme court would invalidate that part of the voting rights act, section 5, and only after the supreme court acted, the state legislature
went in to pass this immediately. >> and that's because the law is so blatant, it would have had such a hard time getting past that bar of the doj. >> i don't know. i'm not going to say that, but i will say there must have been some reason why. i think the question needs to be asked, i suppose i would say, the question should be asked, why they waited until after this antidiscrimination provision was struck down, did only then they pass this law. >> julie fernandez from the open society foundation. thanks so much for your time tonight. really appreciate that. >> thanks. >> what house republicans are doing to the country is bad enough. what they're doing to their own staff members may be each worse. i'm going to explain that, next. when does your work end?
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the lands' end no iron dress shirt. starting at 49 dollars. we believe that everyone should be treated fairly. and so, we're going to move here in the next several hours to take the senate bill, add to it a one-year delay of the individual mandate on the american people, and get rid of the exemption for members of congress. it's a matter of fairness for all americans. >> that's house speaker john boehner speaking earlier today about the two key provisions of the continuing resolution, which at this moment the house has just passed to set up sending back to the senate, which will then strip out those provisions and send it back to the house for a several rounds of ping pong before midnight tonight. now, the operative phase there from speaker boehner was
exemption for members of congress. and what he means by that in plain english is that in exchange for funding the government, house republicans want to basically get rid of health care for all their employees, or more accurately, cut all their secretaries' pay. no, really, that's what's going on. their latest gamete is to attach what's called the vitter amendment to the government funding bill, the one that just passed out of the house again. and what that amendment does is get rid of government payments of health care of members of congress and their staff. now, this won't matter that much for members of congress. they're good because nearly all of them are rich. according to the center for responsive politics, almost half of them are millionaires. but it's another story altogether for their staffers, who will see their current employer contribution to health care costs taken away from them for no reason. at one point today at a caucus meeting -- this is amazing -- the house gop had to kick the staffers out because they were talking about getting rid of the payments for the staffers' health care. "national review's" jonathan strong tweeted "one reason gop
kicked staff out of meeting, they're talking about their health care." and ezra klein in "washington post" "going along with the vitter amendment is tantamount to a massive pay cut to congressional staffers who need health insurance." bill shuster, when asked, said "there are definitely some people that are very much not for it," and there you have it, it has come to this. republicans are hoping to score rhetorical points with the more extreme factions of their party by betting on the health care and the lives of their staff members, all of which will do absolutely nothing, we should be clear, to kill off or damage or delay the hated obama care. this is not governing, this is trolling with people's actual lives. joining me is congressman chris van hollen, democrat from maryland. my understanding is republicans just passed that continuing resolution with a one-year delay on the mandate and this vitter amendme amendment. i'm surprised there's not more outrage about this. this seems like, okay, you don't
like obama care, you want to delay the mandate for a year, fine. i disagree with that and think this has been properly litigated, but as a sheer act of destruction to essentially just screw with all your staff to what, to grandstand, i really cannot believe it's happening. >> chris, you're absolutely right. first, it was absolutely addition gra disgraceful what we saw on the floor of the house of representatives. i have to say at outset, speaker boehner did not allow the full house of representatives to vote on a clean extension of the continuing resolution to keep open the government. why? it would have passed on a bipartisan basis and the government would have been kept open and they would not fulfill their effort to try to deny millions of americans access to affordable care beginning tomorrow. now, with respect to the provision we're talking about, you know, it's fine if republicans want to demagogue and distort the facts with respect to members of congress, and they are demagoguing and distorting the facts there, but
as you said, what they're really doing is taking this out on federal employees who are staff members of congress. and what they're asking for, actually, is that congress be exempt from the employer mandate, right? >> right. >> i mean, after all, the federal government is an employer. >> right. >> and it has a responsibility under the law to provide health care. they're not asking for a delay for one year in the employer mandate. they want congress to be exempt from the employer mandate, after all their talk about carveouts and all that, and they're doing it at the expense of staff members in congress who work very hard for the public good, whether they're republican staff members or democratic staff members. >> and in a lot of cases, i know this from my time covering the hill, a lot of them are not making a ton of money. these are not lucrative jobs. some are making above median income and are doing fairly well, but this is talking about
hey, we're just going to take $500 out of your paycheck so we can run ads about how congress exempted itself or make some rhetorical point. but i want to reiterate, there are actual human beings who actually work inside the halls of congress who actually do work all day who are just being pushed around for no reason. there is nothing about the vitter amendment -- correct me if i'm wrong, that will have anything to do with obama care implementation, whether the exchanges will get set up tomorrow, whether the mandate will come into effect, nothing of the ideological objections are addressed in this just little bit of cruelty directed at the people who work in your building. >> that's right, chris. and you know, among the people who have been offering these proposals on the republican side are individuals who are mul multimillionaires, right? i mean, health care coverage is not something that means a whole lot to them in terms of their paychecks. but for these staff members, who, as you say, are working at middle-income wages, it is very
meaningful. and essentially, what they're saying is they want to exempt themselves, the members of the -- the congress as an institution, from the requirements of the law, and as a result, staff members would take the hit. and it will have absolutely no impact on the implementation of the affordable care act and obama care. so, it's just a spiteful action against their staff. again, if they want to beat up on our members of congress and demagogue that issue, go ahead, but -- >> at least you guys are voting. >> you know, but to take it out on staff is really reprehensible. >> quickly, i want to get your response for this, because a remarkable thing happened, where ted cruz, a freshman senator, essentially reached across and appointed himself speaker of the house and successfully driven the house agenda from the minority of the republican caucus. and i want your response to this. jason johnson, tweeting that "i'm hearing boehner will offer a clean cr vote after reid refuses once again to compromise."
this is ted cruz's top aide essentially announcing that boehner is going to fold to exert pressure on him not to. what do you make of the control that john boehner has of his caucus in that body? >> well, senator cruz has really become the puppet master here in the house of representatives. he's been pulling all the strings. i said on the floor of the house today that the presiding officer might as well hand the gavel over to senator cruz, because that's where these guys are taking their orders from. i was just waiting for some of our colleagues to start reading, you know, "green eggs and ham" on the floor of the house this afternoon and tonight. >> well, it's going to be a long night, so we may get a dr. seuss cam right over here. >> it is. the sad part, as you said, though, is really -- i mean, this is going to really hurt the country. >> yes. >> and it's all to try to block millions of americans from getting access to affordable health care, and it's sdp despicable.
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for more on the shutdown that looms just a few hours away, joining me is congressman jerry nadler, democrat from new york, and matt welch, editor in chief of "the libertarian reason" magazine. congressman, i'll begin with you. this is going to go volley to the senate. senate said that harry reid said something like it's going to take about 15 minutes to send it back to you. at this point, it seems that, you know, the cards have been dealt and we're going to get a shutdown at midnight. >> i don't doubt that. i think the senate -- the house may ping pong back to the senate another version, a narrower version or not, but it's clear,
as long as the house insists on delaying obama care or some part of it, the government will shut down. they are voting to shut down the government by doing that. >> so, matt, people look at this and say to themselves, and dan pfiefer tweeted this this morning -- white house communications person -- i thought it's a good point, which is basically, look, a majority of both houses would pass a clean cr. that's fairly clear. the senate has already passed one. the house would pass one if the came to the floor and the president would sign it. when you look at that, why should americans be held captive to one little faction in the house over this when there is across both houses and the white house support for a clean cr? >> you're asking a should question in politics, chris. shame on you. what i think we're going get is a clear cr at some point. is it going to happen at 12:30 in the morning? >> you think eventually we're going to get one. >> eventually we're going to get one. how is this going to end? >> i don't know! >> what did the republicans give themselves in terms of leverage
in this deal over time? did they spend the last two months bargaining for and fighting for something that was winnab able winnable? they did not. they fought over defunding obama care, which was not possible. so, even if they come up with something reasonable in the eyes of the american public, it's too late to be reasonable because the whole thing does not look reasonable. so, the should, why is this happening, is that you're giving voice to people who want to express their frustration. it's not necessarily governance, it's more of a cathartic scream. that cathartic scream will take the form of shutting down the government for a couple of hours or something like that, and then it would all be over and then we'll be talking about the debt ceiling. >> so congressman, does that sound to you like what's going to ppen, which is that there will be a shutdown, it will be fairly brief, there will be a clean cr that gets passed and then we're going to rerun the tape of this two weeks from now with far, far greater stakes? >> that's quite possible. i can't read the minds of some of my republican colleagues. it may be that it will go a few
hours or a few days, but in the end, they're going to have to pass a clean cr. but of course, the much, much greater threat is that they insist on some -- on delaying the affordable care act and holding in part as a condition of raising the debt ceiling and they throw the country in default, and that could be catastrophic for the economy for years and years and even generations. and what's particularly wrong about this is that it's one thing to have a budget fight, you know, the democrats want $1.058 trillion in this resolution, the republicans want $966 billion. we've surrendered to the republicans, at least for a few weeks. >> good point. >> that's a budget fight. but to take something completely unrelated, which passed both houses of congress, which the president signed, which the people approved in effect by re-electing the president and democratic senate, and then say we, the minority in one house, we are going to blackmail you,
we're going to say we're going to destroy the economy and the country by not raising the debt ceiling, or we're going to shut down the government if you don't give us what we want. it's like a 1930s gangster movie. it's a nice economy you've got there. pity it should happen to blow up if you don't pay us by giving us what we want. that is not democratic government and the president cannot surrender to that. >> that sounds dramatic, but that's not going to happen. we're not going to default on our debt and ruin the economy. it is not going to happen. >> the matt welch guarantee. >> if in trade were still in business, i would be betting heavy on this. of course it's not going to happen. what the republicans have, although they've squandered it methodically over the last several months, is public opinion on their side about the debt ceiling increase. 24% of americans don't want it increased, period. 55% in addition to that say, well, if you're going to do it, have spending cuts with that. that's an criminal advantage and negotiating position. they have screwed that up because they talked about defunding obama care, which people didn't want. >> that's an interesting and important point.
congressman nadler, what we saw last time around is that public opinion shifted a bit as they got closer donate ceiling. >> yes, and as people understand that the debt ceiling is not, as most people think it is, enabling more spending. it's simply enabling paying the bills that were already incurred a year or two ago. >> and my question to you, congressman, is there's this argument about -- this is a broad kind of macro argument, but in these moments, i think quite relevant -- about the modern incarnation of the republican party, particularly its incarnation in the house of representatives, which is that there's something historically anomalous about it, which is that to say it kind of flouts institutional norms and precedents in a way that other recent parties haven't, that there's something different in kind about how this republican house caucus behaves. do you think that's true? >> yes, i do. it's the willingness to use, whether it's a government shutdown or the threat of defaulting on the debt, as blackmail to blackmail the majority into doing something
they want as a policy thing. you don't see the united states, the democratic senate saying we won't vote the budget, we won't do a continuing resolution, we'll shut down the government unless you give us a strong gun control bill or unless you give us a good immigration bill. no one thinks to do that. you do that through the normal democratic processes. they are using the blackmail of a minority to try to blackmail the senate and the president, and frankly, the american people to go along with them. that hasn't been done since before the civil war. >> i think one thing that's anomalous is there is a philosophical and tactical divide within the republican party. they have weak leadership. they have people who disagree with their tactics, which is what we're seeing now, but also philosophy, which we're seeing in other types of things, such as opposition to syria, such as opposition to drones, things that viewers might be more copasetic with, so it cuts both ways. >> it plays out and it all sort of empowered a